Konnishiwa!!!!!

In 2010 I was invited to tour American Department of Defense schools on U.S. military bases across Japan.  It was a month long tour that took me from the island of Kyushu, in the south, to the top of Honshu island (the main island).  I did not get to Okinawa or the northern-most island of Hokkaido.

It was funded by the P.T.O.s of the schools and covered twelve days of school visits at eight schools. What a wonderful experience!  I can’t possibly do it justice with one page of photos. But I thought I’d post a few here so you get a “taste of the tour.”

Enjoy!

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Shutta with a young fan who was the proud caregiver for M.C. Perry School’s rubber chicken mascot.

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The “Chicken Shack!” in Iwakuni. We were treated to a wonderful meal in our own tea room here. No shack! Gorgeous.

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The famous Kentaikyu Bridge outside Iwakuni. The center section was built without nails so it could be pulled down if necessary during a raid. On the mountain top is the Kentai Castle.

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A bullet train What a great way to travel!

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Red torii gate in Hakone. Wherever there is a gate there is a shrine or temple.

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An elder statesman of a tree in Hakone.

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Billie Dysinger (one of my hostesses) and me at the Sadako Memorial in Hiroshima. Behind us in the glass cubicles are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of folded cranes sent by school children from all over the world.

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The Hiroshima Dome stands as a stark reminder of the horror that happened here.

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Temple in Kamakura we visited while at the naval base in Yokusuka.

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A small sweet statuary in temple grounds in Kamakura.

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The giant Buddha in Kamakura. Wow! And visitors can go inside it as well.

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A traditional wedding on the Meji Temple grounds.

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Just one of the many beautiful kimonos seen whenever we came upon a special occasion such as a wedding.

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Assorted fresh catch from sea urchins to octopus.

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Handy vending machines are everywhere! This one offers fresh eggs.

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Gerry with a VERY BIG kite on Boy’s Day. (In Zama.)

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We caught up with the cherry blossoms while at the air force facility in Misawa. These are just outside of Japan’s oldest Kabuki theater in the north of Honshu.

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Carp kites flying in Tokyo in honor of Boy’s Day. (Traditionally, one is flown for each male child. Now-a-days, a kite is flown for each child.)

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A wonderful dragon at a temple along the Oirase Gorge. Surely, one of the most beautful areas of Japan! A river drains in a series of waterfalls from Lake Towada . . . a double caldera lake high in the mountains of northern Honshu.

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A view of one of the two lesser “Fujis” of the north.

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Tokyo at night. In the distance is the spire of the Tokyo Tower lit with golden light.

Arrigato!

A big THANKS to the many new friends we made  . . . so many I can’t name you all, but you know who you are and that you now own some space in my heart!

Shutta